By Helen Apps @UUHelenApps
United Utilities has put out a special plea to pedestrians in a bid to help tackle leaks.
The North West water company is encouraging dog walkers and joggers pounding the pavements with their pooches and playlists, to keep their eyes peeled for evidence of water leaks, and to report any suspicious puddles (but only non-canine related).
Leakage reports can be made by:
• Calling free phone 0800 330033;
• Using an online form: report a leak
• Tweeting the UU team @unitedutilities using hashtag #UULeakline
In an average week the water company fixes around 450 leaks which rises to around 750 during cold snaps.
While United Utilities finds around 60 per cent of leaks, with 26,000 miles of pipes in the region it is not always possible to know about each one. The public’s help is very important, and the water company says that dog walkers might be an ideal group to take the lead.
Dave Briers, water network delivery manager at United Utilities, said: “There are many different causes of leaks. For example it could be due to ground movement caused by heavy traffic or freezing conditions; tree roots can damage pipes over time and so can building work. They can occur anywhere at any time.
“Members of the public who walk specific routes regularly are ideally placed to spot a leak developing and, unlike motorists, are also likely to have their phones at the ready to tweet or message us so that we can get our team investigating. Reports like this are a massive help.”
But what happens once a leak has been reported? To help explain, United Utilities has also launched new resources to ‘de-mystify’ the process.
Dave added: “We know leaks are one of our customers’ biggest bugbears, but there is a huge amount of work going on to tackle them. Every time an incident is reported, it kick-starts a process that ensures we deal with incidents as efficiently as possible.
“Because so much of this process happens ‘behind the scenes’ we’ve also launched a new infographic and video which provide a step-by-step guide to help our customers know exactly what happens when they report a leak to us.”